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You’ve got your tickets to London’s hottest show, but haven’t a clue what to wear, or how much time you need to get to the theatre! Luckily, Matthew Amer, Senior Editor at OfficialLondonTheatre.co.uk is on hand to give first time theatregoers his top tips:
“I’ve been working in West End theatre for a decade. I was fresh to the scene when I first set foot in the hallowed foyers of London’s incredible venues. I’d been a regular theatergoer before, of course, but not in London. Not in the famous West End. I didn’t know quite what to expect. I was unsure exactly how to act. I’ve learned a lot since then:
- It really doesn’t matter what you wear. When I first experienced the magic of going to the West End as a child, it was as a once a year treat we spent months looking forward to. The whole family would dress in their best clothes; this was our special night out, after all. For many theatergoers I’m sure this is still the case, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt, wear that. I’ve seen theatregoers in shorts, vests, fancy dress. If you’re happy, and you’re not making anyone else unhappy, it really doesn’t matter.
- Give yourself time. There’s honestly nothing worse than getting caught on the Tube or stuck in traffic and realising you’re going to miss the start of the show. Your heart rate goes up, you start to sweat, you check your watch every 10 seconds. Where’s the fun in that? Get there early and relax. You can always find a bar, pub or restaurant to keep yourself amused in, this is London after all.
- If you want interval drinks – and who doesn’t? – you can often order them before the show. That way you avoid what can be a very long wait at the bar, which makes that drink taste all the sweeter.
- If you want to avoid the rest of the audience staring at you and tutting during the show’s most dramatic moment, turn your phone off! There is nothing more embarrassing than sitting in a near-silent theatre, everyone absorbed in one of the year’s finest performances, only to hear a Europop ringtone blaring from your pocket. Avoid that feeling of wanting to sink into your chair and turn it off at the start.
“Looking back now, it seems obvious. But back then, as a timid young thing, this was the most important information I could learn. Hopefully it can help you too.”
For the latest theatre news, interviews and show information, check out www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk